Saturday, 5 May 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha #1)

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publication date: June 5th 2012
Publisher: Henry, Holt & Co.
Age group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Cover rating: 3/5
Content rating: 4/5
Buy: Amazon / The Book Depository (Hardback) / The Book Depository (Paperback)

Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, all she’s ever been able to rely on is her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’ve been sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. She is torn from everything she knows and whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes that she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the Sun Summoner. Only her power can destroy the Fold. Overwhelmed by luxury, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to keep her wits about her without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her mastery of her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha—and the secrets of her heart.
My thoughts:
Reading Shadow and Bone was quite an experience. I had big expectations for this one after reading some glowing reviews from fellow readers and was wishing hard that it would live up to them. Thankfully, I was definitely not left feeling disappointed because Shadow and Bone was a masterpiece! I don't think any description or cover could do justice to the journey that's written about in this book. I loved it!

Shadow and Bone had me absolutely captivated from page one. I just did not want to look away! The characters and world that Bardugo has created are so fantastic and unique. I sometimes feel like all the books I'm reading blend into each other a bit but this one really stands out. It's so different and so clever. The ideas, the powers, the names, the descriptions- all wonderful and incredibly memorable. The writing itself is really good and very easy to read and get completely lost in.

I loved Alina and it was so fun getting to know her as the book went on. There are lots of turns in the story and a huge twist that I really didn't see coming. I was left staring at the page for a while as I tried to process where the story was heading. The characters are all very complex and it was great trying to figure them out and see all their layers. There are a lot of dark elements to this book and parts made me wince. However, I found myself laughing out loud several times. There's some very witty dialogue and I especially enjoyed Alina's interactions with Mal.

This novel is one to look out for. It has everything a great story should have and I'm sure it will capture the hearts of many readers. I absolutely recommend it to all YA fantasy lovers, especially ones who are looking for something with a bit more depth and more complex levels to it. It's seriously fantastic and well worth a try!


  1. Ooh nice! I also have high expectations bb of all the reviews so I'm glad it lives up to it. It truly sounds like a wonderful book!

  2. I am in love with the YA fantasy genre at the moment. The Gathering Dark was such an awesome read, and I also really enjoyed Alina's interaction with Mal. <3

    Great review!

  3. Ugh! I want this book so bad! And reading this review made me want it all the more!

  4. The blurb of this book doesn't appeal to me at all, but your review does. You make it sound really good. Maybe I'll give it a go. I much prefer the name and cover of the UK edition :)

  5. Wow, can't wait to read this one! I've seen quite a few glowing reviews myself and am glad to hear you thought it was a masterpiece. Can't wait to get my hands on it. Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. I'm reading this at the moment and really enjoying it. Took me a little time to get into it, but really enjoying it once it picks up. Great review!

  7. I've been curious about this one. Sometimes it sound blah to me, but sometimes it sounds really good. I do like clever and different, though, so maybe I should just go for it.

    Awesome review, Nicola! :)

  8. People have been saying some great things about this one so I'm glad that you also greatly enjoyed this. YA fantasy is rare these days and I'm glad to see that this one lives up to that rare genre.

    Thanks for the great review, I can't wait to read this one.


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